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Drowners, a four-piece band from New York, have made quite a buzz as of late. They’ve toured with bands such as The Vaccines, Arctic Monkeys, and Foals, and it probably doesn’t hurt that vocalist Matt Hitt is a male model and has amassed his own group of fans. Now, with the release of their debut album of the same name, Drowners show us what they’re all about.

The album as a whole is a collection of short, punchy guitar pop songs (the longest track barely passes the three-minute mark.) It bounces between Johnny Marr-esque jangle and medium-fi (is that a thing?) garage, a combination that is endearing in some cases and frustrating in others.

Drowners shine in their more upbeat, concise tracks. ‘Long Hair’, ‘Shell Across the Tongue’, and ‘Pure Pleasure’ are prime examples of this- fun, catchy songs that aren’t complicated and don’t pretend to be. They’re instant charmers and great, unassuming pop tracks. But the best song on the album is “Luv, Hold Me Down”, which is sort of how I imagine the Smiths would’ve sounded like if Morrissey were happy. It’s well-written and an earworm that will evoke a feeling of wanting to dance in even the coldest of listeners.

That being said, there are some not-so-great tracks on the album, too- “Well, People Will Talk” is tedious and lacking in the happy-go-lucky spirit that makes ‘Drowners’ work. And then there’s “Unzip Your Harrington”.  The track had been released all the way back in 2012 as a commercial demo for a profile on Hitt, and was absolutely beautiful. But when I heard the album version, I was shocked- Drowners have ruined their own song, and I was disappointed. Ill get over it, but it would have been so much better if the demo has stayed in demo form.

All this being said, at the end of the day ‘Drowners’ is a good album. Is it revolutionary? No. Will it make anyone’s best of lists? Probably not. But it’s a pleasant listen and a satisfying record when you’re looking for something breezy and subtle.

Julia’s rating: 7/10


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